11/18/2015 4:31PM

New owner high on Whitmore ahead of Delta Downs Jackpot


Harry Rosenblum hit the jackpot last weekend with Gentlemen’s Bet in the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park. The owner hopes to hit another one Saturday with recent acquisition Whitmore in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

Rosenblum and Robert LaPenta bought into Whitmore last week and will now race the Churchill Downs maiden winner with Southern Springs Stable. The horse’s trainer, Ron Moquett, is a co-owner of Southern Springs, and he also trains Gentlemen’s Bet as well as Far Right, owned by Rosenblum and LaPenta.

The stable’s next star could be Whitmore. He was a 7 1/4-length winner of a maiden special weight sprint in his lone start Nov. 6, and the Beyer Speed Figure of 75 that he earned is one of the better last-race numbers in the Jackpot field.

“I have literally looked all over the country for 2-year-old colts, and it just so happened this one was in Ron’s barn,” Rosenblum said. “We watched him run, and he was very impressive. It was a quality field going three-quarters, and he was pulling away. We have every reason to believe he’s going to be a two-turn horse. He’s got a dosage that indicates he’s going to get a route of ground.”

The deal for Whitmore was made just two days before Gentlemen’s Bet was elevated to first after being forced to check down the backstretch in the De Francis. Gentlemen’s Bet picked up his second stakes win of the year for Rosenblum, who has had an outstanding 2015.

Far Right took Rosenblum and partner LaPenta to the Kentucky Derby this year after winning the Smarty Jones and Southwest stakes at Oaklawn Park and finishing second to American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby. Rosenblum wouldn’t mind seeing Whitmore go down the same path as Far Right, who last year was third in the Jackpot. In the coming months, Whitmore will be based at Rosenblum’s home track of Oaklawn.

“We’ll probably follow the same strategy we did with Far Right,” Rosenblum said. “I can’t speak for my trainer – I would assume we would try to go into the Smarty Jones. But we’ll let the horse tell us.”

As for Far Right, Rosenblum said he was freshened for 60 days and returned to Moquett’s barn Sunday. He said a major goal for the horse is the Oaklawn Handicap. Gentlemen’s Bet also is a candidate for the stakes program at Oaklawn, said Rosenblum, with the outside chance that he could go to Dubai for the Golden Shaheen.

The Jackpot at Delta will anchor a card of eight stakes worth $2.3 million. There is a pick four with a guaranteed pool of $200,000 running on races 4-7. Daily Racing Form will have live streaming video of the card that has a special first post of 1:15 p.m. Central. The program also will be shown on TVG, while a broadcast of the Jackpot will be on Sirius XM Channel 93.

The Jackpot has drawn 10, led by Saratoga Special winner Exaggerator. He was scheduled to arrive at Delta Downs late Wednesday from Southern California, according to trainer Keith Desormeaux. Exaggerator was vanning in a box stall after suitable flight arrangements could not be made, with his trip broken up by an overnight stay in El Paso, Texas. Desormeaux said the Jackpot will be the final start of the year for Exaggerator.